Sustainable Cornish Produce

 from our

Clifftop Smallholding


The Story So Far.. 

Anecdotes, Musings and General Info on our Life and Work on the Farm

What We Do

6th October, 2018

We breed traditional Cornish Black pigs from which we produce our free-range pork and occasionally sell on as pedigree livestock to other keepers. In addition we are rearing a small flock of free-range Devon Bronze turkeys for Christmas and have recently started a very small dairy herd of Kerry cattle to provide local, ethical milk from cows that get to keep their calves (available Summer 2019🀞)

Grow Your Own Nursery Coming Spring 2019!

20th October, 2018

As things move forward on site, the cyclical relationship of the animals, edibles and the land itself are starting to develop. I recently read Small is Successful - a great resource I’d recommend to any startup growers out there - and it’s made me think a lot about the possibility for food production on a small acreage. We’ve decided to plant with a Grow Your Own nursery in mind; offering seeds, seedlings and eventually preserves too! I think it will compliment our future honey production greatly. We have purchased open pollinated seed from The Real Seed Collection, meaning we can save seed to replant from our best stock next year and help some bees while we’re at it! 🐝🌰🌱🌽🌿🌻

Our Family of Pigs!

3rd November, 2018

πŸŒ„ Our boar Cliff and our main sow Express have a truly beautiful relationship - they are genuinely like a married couple! We rarely sell on our weaners so they get to stay with mum and dad for around 5 months (at which point we separate the brothers and sisters for obvious reasons).

🌾 They wean themselves naturally at around 12 weeks of age but remain close to Cliff and Express, it really is a joy to see them sleeping together like big family dozing outside on a bed of hay πŸ’›

#CliggaCliff #EndFactoryFarming #GoFlexitarian #buylocal #FarmToFork

Our 2nd Off-Grid Christmas

30th December, 2018

Family life off grid

So before I tell you all about this Christmas I want to share a little bit about our off-grid journey so far. The first thing I'd say is, it's not been easy. We understood that it would be challenging, but like most embarking on a field-to-farm conversion we are also guilty of romanticising the process. But with a small budget and young family in tow we had to get real and adjust our power expectations for our first year or so - much to the dismay of our teenager  and ten year old! In the end we managed with one medium sized solar panel, a leisure battery or two and our car ports for around 18 months. No mean feat I can tell you now and the highlight of which was losing every drop of power at 9pm on New Year Eve 2017 as the panel had disconnected during the day! We had hoped to have a much larger renewable setup installed during our very first months living on the land - but circumstances beyond our control meant we just couldn't get there and sometimes you simply have to dig deep and get through it. It wasn't all bad though. No we didn't really have a telly for that time, but we watched too much TV before anyway and soon got used to watching here and there on our phones (even we can't live without a bit of netflix!). We played more games, talked more, drew more, read more and slept more. I can't say there weren't times when we didn't long for a deep bath and a night in front of the gogglebox (showers only up here), especially when I was pregnant and Harry was a newborn, but we made made the best of it and have some crazy memories from that time too.

Which brings us to this Christmas. Now living the high life in two static caravans in a more sheltered spot we had a wonderful Christmas 2018. Still just the one panel, but much savvier now we had fairy lights everywhere, a proper tree and our very own free range Devon Bronze turkey to tuck into. The lead up was insane between markets, nativities, our popup shop and everything else that Christmas entails with four children to cater for and keep up with. But from Christmas Eve onwards it was all about the family and we had one of our best, most relaxing and delicious Christmases ever. Roll on 2019...!

Hello 2019

9th January, 2019

An exciting year ahead!

I have to say I'm genuinely excited about 2019. It's been a crazy old ride for the last few years with many ups and some undeniable downs; but things are shaping up beautifully so far for this year! The cows are due to calf in the spring which means we'll be able to start milking them. We're getting some new fencing done soon which will get the pigs in (finally abandoned the electric,  just not reliable enough off grid in the winter). We've got 50 new Leghorn rescue hens on the way at the end of this month who will be providing us with fabulous eggs in a range of colours. The grass will soon be growing and we finally have a half decent bank of solar panels and batteries to better cater for our farm and family power needs!

Last, but by no means least, I'll have finished our 3 year business plan by the end of the week and with a bit of luck we will have submitted our official planning application by the end of January...18 months later than we'd originally planned. Although I fear there will be a lot of stress coming from this, even if it's just my own nerves, if the last couple of years has taught us anything it's that you never know what's around the corner; so we'll be making the most of every moment we can in 2019...I can't wait to get started!

Entering the Blogosphere!

10th January, 2019

Like many things in life, the best ideas come from those who know you best. My closest friend for the last 22 years suggested I start a blog to chronical our less than conventional life up here on the cliffs. To be honest I wasn't really sure I had much to say or who would read it, but now I've started this log I've already realised that she was right (as per usual!). I'm hoping it will be the perfect way to record our mission to create a truly sustainable, thriving small-scale farm and to share some extra info with readers about the nuts and bolts of how and why we do what we do. So, to whoever may be reading this, enjoy!

A Moment on Manure

11th January, 2019

Farming with nature, biodynamics & pasture improvement 

One of our main aims on farm since we embarked on this journey has been to get as close to a closed loop system as we could. Key to the biodynamic principles introduced by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920's a closed loop farm is an entirely self-sufficient, self-sustaining operation where waste is seen as an asset to be harnessed, not a by-product to be disposed of. Livestock also play a key role - particularly the cow.  

Highly valued not only for the produce they provide but, more importantly to us here, for their gold when it comes to revitalising our permanent pasture. The chickens act as natural muck spreaders, roaming around and scratching about in the cowpats; not only dispersing the manure very effectively but also helping keep worms and other pests in check so we can continue to be antibiotic free. Once better distributed by the chooks the manure can get to work, releasing nitrogen (and more) into the soil and awakening a kaleidoscope of dormant seeds waiting in the soil for some natural fertilisation to revive them. I for one can't wait to see what lost wildflower gems resurface!

Our Potager Market Garden

Up next...

Raised beds, planting schemes & working using lunar cycles

Meat & Milk

Coming Soon...

Issues surrounding pork and dairy production & some musings on why things have strayed so far from what they once were

A Bit About Bees

Coming Soon...

Cornish Black Bees, Wild Borders & Open Pollinated Seed